Every so often, like today, I see something written that just makes me so annoyed I decide to vent on it. Today’s vent is on the use of the word “apocalyptic” to describe weather events that are anything but apocalypic.
To understand the rant, let’s look at the definition of apocalyptic:
describing or prophesying the complete destruction of the world.“the apocalyptic visions of ecologists”
Pretty self explanatory. Something can be described as being apocalyptic if it is bringing about the complete and utter destruction of the world we live in.
A snow storm, no matter how much of epic proportions it is, is not apocalyptic. Sure, it might be the end of some people’s worlds (you know, if they die during the snow storm because help couldn’t’ get to them or the snow storm caused something to collapse and kill them), but it is definitely NOT world ending.
Yet, that is how a time-lapse video posted over at MotherJones is described:
“The video below, from Buffalo-based producer Joseph DeBenedictis, shows yesterday’s apocalyptic storm sweeping across the city. The insane snowfall was brought on by something called the “lake effect,” which could grow more severe with global warming…”
Note the phrase I purposely bolded. The storm was not apocalyptic. It didn’t resemble the end of the world – it resembled six feet of snow. Monumental, record-breaking, perhaps even extreme or deadly snow amounts could have been used instead of “apocalyptic storm”. There were many other word choices that could have been used that would have described the storm better than apocalyptic.